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Travel

Where I Want To Visit In 2017

January 9, 2017

Last year I put a post together about where I wanted to visit in 2016 (Have a read here) so it’s only right that I do the same for 2017!

First of all, I need to point out that these lists are a bit ambitious when you’re working full time and have limited annual leave and money but I love looking at places for some wanderlust inspiration. Dublin was the only place that got ticked off last year’s list so here’s the revised ‘ Where I want to Visit’ list for 2017.

 A Greek Island… or two.

I am in desperate need of a beach holiday. I want a sun lounger, a good book and an even better cocktail so I can relax in the sunshine for 1 or 2 weeks. The Greek Islands are still very appealing and Thomas Cook do a good island hopping holiday that I’ve got my eye on. If you want to escape to a different  world on your lunch break then have a look at the properties in Santorini available on AirBnB – you can live like a celeb for such little money! Those infinity pools are calling my name…

Iceland

Iceland is still firmly on this list. Stu and I have spoken about maybe booking this for his birthday in December. We’d like to go when there’s a lot of snow and hopefully catch a glimpse on the Northern lights as well. Iceland has become really popular in the last couple of years but that doesn’t really bother me. They can fight me for the best spot at the Blue Lagoon!

Eastern Europe

I love a good city break so hopefully I can squeeze one in at some point this year. I love exploring a city for the first time and it always feels like such a treat because you’re only away for a few days. I’m thinking maybe somewhere in Eastern Europe as that’s somewhere I haven’t been before. Do you have any recommendations? Prague, Tallinn and Krakow all appeal to me.

A Long Haul Adventure? 

And to top off the list I need to mention that my Mum and Step Dad are heading off on a round the world trip in February. They’re going to be away for at least a year visiting amazing places such as Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia, South America, Central America and pretty much all the other exotic places you can think of! I’d love to visit them somewhere so need to start saving the pennies as pretty much every country is a long haul flight away. Hmm, 2018 trip?

Are you going anywhere exciting this year?

Travel Advice, Travel Book Series

Why You Should Keep A Diary When Travelling

August 10, 2016

Life is full of wonderful experiences and when you’re surrounded by such fantastic sights and sounds, it seems impossible that you will ever forget this moment. But as we experience more and more equally wonderful moments, it can be hard to remember the little details which made it so special in the first place. This is why it’s important to keep a diary, especially when  travelling.

Ever since I was little I’ve been one to keep a diary. I now have lots of diaries to look back on from school days, holidays and everything in between. I cringe reading some of them again and I’m amazed at what I used to worry about. What scares me though is how many people and places I’ve forgotten about. They were important enough for me to mention in my diary and now I can barely recall them!

When you travel the world, you meet so many other travellers that it’s impossible to remember them all. You might only spend 1 day with them or it might extend to a few months. You add them on Facebook and then move on. But these people who you have crazy adventures with deserve to be remembered. So write about them! Put a face to the name when you discover pictures from your travels in years to come. It will prompt you to try and get back in touch with these people who were an important part of your life at one point.

Write everything you can about that trip you just went on. Describe the smells and the sounds as these are the first things you forget. Explain how something made you feel. It’s amazing how reading a diary can bring back so many memories. You’ll read your diary and find yourself laughing out loud one minute and crying the next as all the details come flooding back to you.

Lots of travellers I meet say that they started out with good intentions and kept a diary for the first couple of weeks but then forgot about it. I’m not saying you have to write in your diary everyday, you don’t want it to feel like a chore, but make the effort to write names, quotes and random memories down as much as possible. Add tickets, leaflets, photographs etc to your diary to help prompt the memories as well. If you’re anything like me then you will be keeping all of these things in your suitcase anyway!

Don’t let something as important as travel become a distant memory. Your diary will be worth more to you in years to come than that random vest you bought in Thailand.

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Asia, Thailand, Travel

Going to the Full Moon Party as a couple!

February 8, 2016

The Full Moon Party is one of Thailand’s main attractions for the hundreds of backpackers that visit the country each year. However it may not be top of your list if you’re travelling as a couple. I’ve been to Koh Phangan with friends and with Stu so I can tell you that it’s totally fine to go to the Full Moon Party with your partner!

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I’ve written before about the Full Moon Party, it’s a mental night that you need to experience at least once. Thousands of people packed on to a beach is not everyone’s cup of tea but Stu and I had a really good night. The travelling community is really friendly so you find yourselves talking to anyone you’re stood by and swapping stories about backpacking. You might feel like people won’t approach a couple but we didn’t really find this a problem. Stu’s really good at starting a conversation with anyone and I just joined in. This is probably how we made most of our friends travelling!

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Most of your time at the Full Moon Party will be spent drinking buckets of alcohol and dancing outside one of the many bars which line the beach. There’s also water slides from the tops of bars down to the beach and a sleeping zone for those that need a nap to last until sunrise. There’s so much going on that it doesn’t matter if you’re part of a big group or just with one other person. I’m sure plenty of people go on their own!

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People seem to have no inhibitions when they’re in another country so you’re bound to see some strange sights at the party. You just have to embrace the night and enjoy the experience as a whole. I found that there was a bit of a strange atmosphere because everyone is so determined to have a good time. It’s a bit like New Years Eve when you do something because you feel have to go out. If you try not to have too high expectations then you’ll enjoy the Full Moon Party whoever you go with. Just appreciate dancing on a beach until sunrise covered in UV paint!

going to the full moon party as a couple

Have you been to the Full Moon Party? How did you find it?

Going to the Full Moon Party as a couple

Travel, Travel Advice

Keeping in touch with friends you meet travelling

February 4, 2016

The people you meet when you’re travelling and the times you spend together will form some of the best memories of your life. It’s crazy how close you can become in such a short amount of time. The problem with travelling is that everyone is always moving on to another city, country or even heading home. So how do you keep in touch with these friends that you’ve met travelling?

Obviously Facebook makes it easy to see what your friends are up to. You can ‘like’ photos and send messages about how much you miss each other and how you ‘must’ meet up soon. Sound familiar? We’re all terrible for saying these kind of things and never actually arranging anything. I get it, life’s busy for everyone but we really should make more of an effort to see people again. Seeing travel friends again is such a good experience. You can reminisce about that time in Australia and then go make new memories in whatever country you’re meeting up in.

Stu and I have met up with friends that we spent months with in Australia and Bali and we always have a good time. We all miss travelling and when we’re together it feels like we’re back in that backpacker lifestyle. It definitely helps you get over that horrible feeling we all get when we’re home. So next time you think about much you’re missing your travel pals, make the effort and arrange to meet up!

Australia, Travel

Happy Australia Day!

January 26, 2016

I’ll let you in to a secret, I’ve never been in Australia for Australia Day. I’ve always arrived in the country just after! It doesn’t make me want to celebrate any less though. I love Australia and hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back there again. I hope all my friends Down Under have had a great day, I wish I was there to join you for a schooner or two!

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Australia, Travel

Diving the Great Barrier Reef with Deep Sea Divers Den

January 18, 2016

If you’re thinking of doing a dive on the Great Barrier Reef as part of your East Coast trip, you should definitely use Deep Sea Divers Den. Diving the Great Barrier reef was one of my favourite experiences in Australia and I have Deep Sea Divers Den to thank for that (and Stu for paying for the dive for my birthday present!).

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This was my first Scuba dive in open water and there probably isn’t a better place to do a dive than the beautiful barrier reef. All of the marine life looked amazing and we saw so many different creatures, from sharks to turtles to Nemo! Our dive instructor made us all feel completely comfortable. We were all 100% happy with our equipment and knew all the signals if we ever got into trouble below the surface.

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Luckily the reef itself was quite healthy where we were diving as I’ve heard some dive companies take you to parts of the reef which are unhealthy and dying. Deep Sea Divers Den help care for the reef to ensure visitors can enjoy it for years to come.

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After a 20 minute dive, we put on our snorkel equipment and got straight back in the water. The four of us are all strong swimmers and can hold our breath for quite a while so could manage to dive quite deep and explore the reef some more. There’s plenty of fish to see from the surface if you’re not happy doing this though.

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Deep Sea Divers Den also put on a fantastic lunch buffet – and that’s coming from 4 very hungry backpackers. There’s more than enough food to go around and it’s really tasty as well. All the swimming makes you really hungry!

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I know a lot of people worry about the price of doing a Scuba dive but it really is worth every dollar. You’ve got to think that you may not ever have the chance to visit the Great Barrier Reef again. You only live once after all! Just go for it!

Have you dived the Great Barrier Reef? What company did you use?

 

Europe, Greece, Travel

Nothing beats a Sunset

January 4, 2016

I love a sunset shot and let’s be honest, who doesn’t? When I flick through other people’s holiday pictures I prefer to find the sunset snap than the bikini one. I now have a camera with a ‘sunset setting’ to really bring out all the colours in the sky.

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This picture is taken on the Greek island of Kalymnos. I like it because it isn’t like the usual sunset, it’s a bit gloomy but still manages to capture the beauty of this island. I love that you can see how close the neighboring islands are. This was taken back in 2014 during a bit of an island hopping holiday.

I’ve now been to a few of the Greek islands but as I mentioned in my last post, Mykonos is next on my list!

Do you love a sunset picture as well? If you do then you should do a post like this and enter it into Olympic Holidays #SnapASunset competition!

Travel

Where I want to visit in 2016

December 31, 2015

You’ve probably seen about million posts on the best places to visit in 2016. Rather than doing a post on the most luxurious destinations known to man, I thought I’d do one a little more realistic for me.

  1. Mykonos, Greece.

Mykonos 2016

I’ve been to a few Greek islands before and I’ve never been disappointed. Mykonos town looks so pretty with all the white and blue. I like visiting places that have a bit of character as well as sunshine and beaches so that puts Mykonos top of my list for places to visit next year.

2. Iceland.

Iceland 2016

Stu and I have been wanting to go to Iceland for ages now and have never got round to booking the trip. All of the Icelandic scenery looks incredible, from the lagoons, the mountains and the waterfalls. If we got to see the Northern Lights as well then even better!

3. Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin 2016

I have never been to Ireland! There’s a few places I’d like to visit but I feel Dublin is a good as place as any to start!

And just in case I win the lottery…. Bora Bora. A girl can dream right?

Bora Bora 2016

Where are you planning on going next year? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @frankiegoesto__.

 

 

My Life

Reflections on 2015. 

December 28, 2015

Last year I posted my reflections on 2014 so I thought it was only right that I did the same this year.

Spending a year at home after a year of seeing the world is hard on any backpacker. It’s the part that no one talks about. For me, 2015 was less about travelling and more about working, saving money and most importantly spending time with loved ones. I think Christmas always makes us appreciate the little things in life and this year it really hit home for me. There isn’t anything more important than your friends  and family. Enjoy every moment you spend in each others company and cherish every memory you make. You might not always get along but we should forgive easily and try and be the first to reach out to those who we have lost contact with. Lots of people make resolutions at this time of year but I don’t usually bother. Next year though, I aim to spend more quality time with my friends and family because no matter how busy life gets, we should always make time for others.

2015 also taught me to do more of what makes me happy. I thought this blog would fizzle out once I was home but I’ve kept it up and amazingly, I’ve now had travel companies ask to work with me. That’s not something I ever thought would happen when I started this before Stu and I went away. I want to keep writing, not because of the opportunities it can bring, but because I enjoy it and I know I’ll love looking back at this blog in years to come. I also started a new job because my previous one was making me unhappy. I was worried that it was too soon to leave but I knew that I shouldn’t force myself to do something that I hated. I definitely made the right decision and now I’m much happier.

I don’t know what 2016 will bring but I’m going in to it feeling positive about life and I can’t ask for much more than that!

Reflecting on 2015

 

Travel Book Series

Travel Guide Series #4 Experience Passport – Alex Egner – Chronicle Books

December 18, 2015

The Experience Passport by Alex Egner was one of my favourite gifts when I won Kara’s giveaway earlier in the year. It was such a hidden gem and here’s why…


So this book isn’t your typical travel guide. The book’s aim is for the reader to make the most out of every day. The blurb reads:

“This passport grants you access to life-enriching experiences. Break out of your routine, learn something new, and discover the world of inspiration around you.”

You can’t really ask for more than that can you?


I’m all for exploring your surroundings and seeing the extraordinary in what you think is ordinary. We need to break out of our mundane routines and make every day an adventure! That’s why I love this book.

The book is split into 45 different ‘experiences’. These can range from going on a hike to attending a music concert or simply drawing what you can see around. Each experience is designed to challenge you and help you learn something about yourself. I think pushing your boundaries is one of the main benefits of travelling. By testing your limits, you see the best in yourself and in others around you.



The book also comes with little stickers to show you completed an experience – brilliant for bringing out my inner child! I can’t wait to try out more of the ideas in the Experience Passport and I hope you give it a try too!